2013 Excellence in Content

GOLD: Enspire Studios

Dell Inc. wanted to bolster brand engagement among its employees to better reflect the company’s shift from software and hardware maker to end-to-end enterprise business services provider. The company sought to strengthen this new definition of its brand throughout the organization — an initiative that would result in a more consistent and unified experience for customers.

Dell partnered with Enspire Studios, the custom development unit of Austin, Texas-based Enspire Learning, to create an online learning experience that would satisfy this need. The course included three main sections: “Brand Filter,” “Case Studies” and “Call to Action.”

The first section served as a linear introduction for the most important concepts in the course. The second, non-linear section included up to six case studies for the learner to explore. The final non-linear section acted as a space where employees can explore five ways they can deliver Dell’s revitalized brand.

The course also centered on a hub where employees could see the sections they completed as well as those yet to be unlocked. Enspire thought the combination of linear and non-linear course navigation gave learners the right amount of control. Enspire also included game mechanics throughout the course to help employees retain the material.

More than 4,400 Dell employees completed the course in the first eight months. Ken Gaspar, senior manager of global brand marketing and social media at Dell, said the course was the first game-based approach the company has taken with training. He also said the course received high praise on its design and content.

SILVER: AchieveGlobal

To address ongoing service competition in the hotel industry, New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas needed a hospitality-training program to increase positive interactions between staff and guests.

The hotel partnered with AchieveGlobal to develop a program to increase guest satisfaction scores as well as its Net Promoter Score. The hotel also aimed to create a sustainable training program.

The partnership produced a learning program of skill builders — short learning sessions of about 15 minutes, each designed to give employees bits of content to improve guest relations. Each skill builder included one focused topic per month.

Skill builder sessions also provided employees with an opportunity to participate in discussions, learn from peers and practice new skills. After each skill builder, learners were assigned a follow-up activity to reinforce newly acquired skills with guests.

As a result of the first phase of skill builder implementation, the hotel’s Net Promoter Score for May rose by 10.3 points year-over-year to 44.6. Its customer satisfaction score increased from 91.5 to 92.6.

An employee survey following the first phase of implementation found more than 93 percent of employees agreed that the course was worthwhile for their development.

BRONZE: EBSCO Information Services

Rheem Manufacturing Co.’s water heating division sought to improve organizational learning and information resources. The company had a learning management system, but it was only used as a source for e-learning courses.

The company partnered with EBSCO Information Services to implement a custom version of its Leadership and Management Center, or LMLC, an e-learning portal offering content on leadership and management best practices and benchmarks.

Tessa Bedoya, Rheem’s human resources development specialist for its water heating division, said the LMLC made learning more readily available and valuable to the organization.